Leave It to Cody Jinks to Give a Proper Country Tribute to Chris Cornell


If Sturgill Simpson is today’s country music equivalent to Kurt Cobain, then perhaps a similar parallel can be drawn between Cody Jinks and Soundgarden/Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell. It’s no longer a matter of if, but when Cody’s name is included as a default in the conversation with guys like Sturgill, Isbell, and Stapleton for who is leading the pack in a new, independent era in country and roots music.

When the news of Chris Cornell’s passing hit the internet, Cody Jinks sat down in front of a single camera and performed a tearjerking rendition of “I Am The Highway” from Cornell’s Audioslave era. You could tell this wasn’t something Jinks whipped up to take advantage of the tragic news. This was a song he could sing in his sleep—something he knew every phrase and turn of by heart, and had sung a hundred times and wanted to share. It’s now received over 50,000 views in less than 48 hours, and counting.

Then Friday (5-19), as if it was planned and rehearsed with weeks of preparation, he releases a much more produced treatment of Soundgarden’s most well-known song, “Black Hole Son,” with fellow Texan Paul Cauthen accompanied only by piano.

Though some country fans may rather see Cody tributing something more traditional, these performances illustrate Cody’s alacrity as a singer and musician, and the reverence which Cody Jinks approaches all music. Few can cobble together the courage and resources to put something like this together, and fewer actually do, to put their emotion into music for someone that clearly was a lasting influence on their lives.

READ: Angst, Anger, 90’s Music, and the Legacy of Chris Cornell

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